Frugal Homeowner Pays Off $255,000 Mortgage in Just Three Years

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Setting the standards for extreme frugality in finances is 30-year-old Sean Cooper. Despite not having a glamorous job, he managed to save enough money to pay off a whopping $225,000 mortgage in only three years!

Cooper purchased a $425,000 house in Toronto, Canada, in 2012 and since then, created a strict pauper-like regime for himself. He started by getting himself two additional jobs to supplement his income as a pension analyst, working a total of 100 hours a week. He wrote financial articles in his free time, and also took a $13-an-hour job at the meat section of a supermarket, even though he’s a vegetarian. “It wasn’t the most glamorous job, but it helped me pay off my mortgage, so I can’t complain,” he said.

“For a lot of people, their mortgage is like a life sentence. I just wanted to not have a mortgage hanging over my head for the next 30 years.”

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Man Born Without Arms Becomes Professional Tattoo Artist

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27-year-old Brian Tagalog was born without arms, but he has never let this serious adversity keep him from leading a normal life. He learned to use his feet to perform mundane tasks, drive a car, fly planes and even ink intricate tattoo designs. The ambitious young man believes he is the only certified tattoo artist without arms in the world.

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Tagalog moved with his family to Tucson, Arizona, where he attended Sunnyside High School and the University of Arizona. He had always shown an interest in drawing, and set his mind on becoming a professional tattoo artist. Not many people gave him a chance, but he steadily honed his foot drawing skills, and after his aunt helped him buy his first tattoo gun, he learned to operate it with his toes just as well as others did with their hands.

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4-Foot-5, 95-Pound Football Player Doesn’t Let Size Stand in the Way of His Dreams

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Meet Adam Reed, a 17-year-old, 4-foot-5, 95-pound high school senior who despite his short stature made his high school’s varsity football team. Adam may be only the fifth-string running back for Plantation American Heritage school’s nationally ranked football team, but he’s actually their star player, with fans always lining up to take photographs with him at the end of every game.

At 4-5 and 95 pounds, Reed isn’t exactly the poster boy for American football. The biggest player on his team, in comparison, is Tedarrell Slaton, who stands at 6-6 and a whopping 338 pounds. In fact, Reed is nowhere close to the second smallest player in the team, Jason Heinstkill, who measures 5-8 and weighs 146 pounds. But he’s got more grit and determination in him than most players twice his size. “I’m a little undersized,” he said, nonchalantly. “But it’s whatever. I don’t let my size stop me from doing anything.”

According to Reed’s mother Lisa, he’s been passionate about football since childhood. “He started playing flag football at 5 years old, but it was no big deal back then because there was no tackling. He was always a strong and fast kid, but I never realised how good he was. When he said he wanted to continue playing, I said go for it.” Reed ended up playing on middle school and junior varsity teams at Heritage since the sixth grade, and got on the JV squad in high school as well. But making the high-school varsity cut proved challenging.

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Meet Mark Reay, New York’s Homeless Fashion Photographer

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It’s rather inconceivable that someone as talented and successful as New York fashion photographer Mark Reay might be homeless. Despite being handsome, well-groomed, and articulate – Mark didn’t actually have a home to go back to, after rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of the fashion world, for six long years.  

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Thrifty Pensioner Has Been Using the Same Plastic Shopping Bag for 34 Years

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Grandfather-of-three Martin McCaskie is a true environmentalist – the 72-year-old has used the same Tesco plastic bag for groceries over 2,000 times – since 1981!

Martin’s never made a big deal of being thrifty, so his own family didn’t know about his little vintage keepsake until he pulled the bag out of his pocked last week at his daughter Helen’s house. They were surprised to see the ancient yet well-maintained bag that the shopping chain had produced over three decades ago to commemorate their golden jubilee. Helen posted a picture of the bag on Facebook, where it went viral.

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Nanliu, China’s One of a Kind Stock Trading Village

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Stock trading is a major trend among the people of Nanliu, a tiny village in northern China’s Shaanxi province. Lots of locals – even farmers – have preferred trading over their traditional jobs, earning the Nanliu the nickname ‘China’s stock trading village’.

Many of them made big profits this spring, thanks to China’s stock market hitting a seven-year high, and this inspired more from the community to come forward with their money. “It’s a lot easier to make money from stocks than farm work,” said apple farmer Liu Jianguo, who invested $8,000 into the Shanghai Composite.

That’s a huge chunk of his savings, but he was willing to take the risk. “It’s risky, you can earn $16,000 in ten minutes, and lose it all in the next. I’ve made some small profit and gained experience but I still feel anxious when my investments aren’t doing well.”

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Lonely Japanese Women Can Now Hire Hot Guys to Sleep Beside Them

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Entrepreneurs in Japan seem to be going out of their way to please women with a host of interesting services – rent-a-boyfriend, rent-a-crying-therapist, rent-a-crying-room, rent-a-solo-wedding, and now, they can actually rent a cuddling partner for the night!

Thanks to ‘Rose Sheep’, single Japanese women don’t need to worry about lonely nights or empty beds anymore. All they’ve got to do is call and order a ‘sheep’ – an attractive young man between the ages of 20 and 30 – to spend the night beside them. The service does not extend beyond cuddling, though. A bare-chested snuggle is just about as steamy as it can get. 

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Wonder Boy Gets Two College Degrees, Flies Airplanes, Writes Two Books, Works for NASA, All by the Age of 17

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Seventeen is a confusing age for many, but Moshe Kai Cavalin seems to have it all figured out. The California teenager already has two college degrees to his name, he’s a published author, nearly a licensed pilot, and he works for NASA. That’s a lot more than most of us hope to achieve in a lifetime.

Moshe’s been an achiever all his life – he enrolled at the East Los Angeles College when he was only eight years old, becoming the youngest college student in the US. He graduated at age nine with a 4.0 GPA, and also wrote a bestselling autobiography that same year. But one college degree apparently wasn’t enough, so at age 15 he graduated from the University of California with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

The wonder kid was actually getting ready to earn a third degree this year – a master’s in cybersecurity at Boston’s Brandeis University – but he’s currently put that on hold for a couple of terms to work with NASA. He’s helping the space agency develop surveillance technology for airplanes and drones. 

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Blind Woman with Multiple Personalities Can See When She Is a Teenage Boy

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Despite our many technological advancements, the human brain is still a big mystery, as proven by the recently published case of a German woman who, although legally blind, has her sight miraculously restored at times. The 37-year-old suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), and apparently has perfect vision when she switches to eight out of her ten personalities.

The woman, only referred to by her initials B.T., first went to see German psychotherapist Dr. Bruno Waldvogel about 14 years ago. She was completely blind at the time and accompanied by a guide dog. She told the doctor that her vision had become severely impaired during an accident at age 20, after which she gradually became blind. Waldvogel checked her medical records, which clearly stated that she had been diagnosed with cortical blindness from trauma to the skull and brain. Her eyes showed no sign of physical damage.

Waldvogel eventually diagnosed B.T. with DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, which manifested itself through no less than 10 personalities of different names, voices, and genders. Some of her personalities spoke only in German, others used English. But a major breakthrough came after about four years of treatment, when Waldvogel was shocked to witness B.T. recognize a few words on the cover of a magazine. She had assumed the personality of a teenage boy at the time.

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Chinese Widow Spends Seventeen Years Putting Four of Her Husband’s Five Killers in Prison

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Seventeen long years after witnessing the brutal murder of her husband Li Guiying’s struggles have finally borne fruit – she has managed to track down four of his five killer and provide enough evidence to have them locked up. 58-year-old Li doesn’t plan on stopping until she finds the last killer as well.

The determined widow’s sad story began in the winter of 1998. Li, her husband Qi Yuande, and their five children were a happy family living in Xiangcheng city, China’s Henan province. But things went wrong when an argument broke out with a neighbor named Qi Xueshan, who feared that she might start complaining about him to the local authorities. To ensure this wouldn’t happen, he invited the couple to his house under pretext of having a civilized conversation, but attacked them as soon as they arrived.

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Kids Place Warm Clothes on Street Posts for the Homeless to Pick Up

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A group of Canadian kids are already spreading a bit of Christmas spirit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by wrapping warm clothing around lamp poles for the city’s homeless to pick up and use. The unusual sight of warmly dressed poles caught recently the attention of locals, who stopped to click pictures to share on social media.

Every year, Tara Atkins-Smith collects warm clothing from her community, in order to give to the less fortunate. This year, she took to Facebook to call for donations and the response was overwhelming – their front porch was overflowing with bags of clothes. Since the family was traveling to Halifax on November 15 with their daughter Jayda and seven of her friends to celebrate her 8th birthday, Tara decided it was the perfect time to teach the children valuable life lesson.

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Syrian Refugee Feeds Berlin Homeless as Way to Give Back to German People

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Despite having lost everything, a Syrian refugee is doing his bit to return the kindness extended to him by German locals. For the past year, Alex Assali has been serving hot meals to the homeless in Berlin in order to “give something back to the people that helped him.”

Assali arrived in Germany in 2007, after fleeing Damascus on foot because his life was in danger for posting negative messages online about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He changed his name, adopted a new identity, and did his best to become not a burden but a blessing for his adoptive country. Since August last year, he has offering free food to those less fortunate than him.

A photograph of Assali standing on the side of a busy street, behind a table laden with hot rice, gravy, and bread, was recently posted to Facebook by his friend Tabea Bü. She revealed that Assali sets up a table outside Berlin’s Alexanderplatz station every Saturday and serves about 100 homeless people. The photo was shared thousands of times, and Tabea said they were overwhelmed with the positive comments.

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Woman Takes Revenge on Cheating Husband by Selling Their House While He Is Away on Business

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42-year-old Laura Arnolds came up with the perfect plan to get back at her husband for cheating on her – she sold the house while he was away on a business trip! When Craig Arnolds returned, he was utterly bewildered to find his locks changed and six students in his living room.

It all started when Laura found a message on her husband’s phone that he’d accidentally left behind when he left for a business trip to the US. The rather ‘steamy’ message from an American woman about what Craig could expect once he reached New York clearly implied he was being unfaithful.

Laura was obviously upset, but instead of blowing up at him she decided to get even. Lucky for her, her parents had taken over the mortgage of their Warwickshire property, so she was able to sell the house within a fortnight through a website that specializes in selling houses fast, to a group of students at the University of Warwick. She then packed her bags and left.

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Man Generates Almost No Garbage in Two and a Half Year Trash-Free Experiment

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Darshan Karwat, a post-doctorate at the University of Michigan, is making headlines for having maintained an incredibly frugal and sustainable lifestyle during his student years. The man gave up fast food, new clothes, and even toilet paper, until he got to a point where his trash for an entire year fit in just two plastic bags!

Karwat, who is originally from India, started the trash-free experiment when he lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and managed to keep it going for two and a half years. In the first year, he produced only 7.5 lbs of trash, and in the second year, he brought that number down to a meager 6 lbs, which is a mind-blowing 0.4 percent of the 1,500 lbs of yearly trash produced by the average American.

Looking back, Karwat says that his inspiration to start the project came from an episode of the radio show The Story, on which he heard of a British couple who lived trash-free. “I walked home from my laboratory at the University of Michigan and told my roommate Tim that I thought I could do better – I’d live trash- and recycling-free and that I’d start soon,” Karwat wrote in an essay for The Washington Post. “And just like that, I began an experiment in individual activism in the face of large environmental problems.”

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Meet Fray Tormenta, the Wrestling Priest Who Inspired Nacho Libre

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It’s a little known fact that Nacho Libre, a character played by Jack Black in the 2006 eponymous movie, is actually based on a legendary real-life Mexican wrestling priest. In the film, Nacho Libre is the undercover identity adopted by Black, a monastery cook, in order become a luchador, a masked lucha libre wrestler. The idea of a priest donning a lucha libre mask is rather outlandish, but Sergio Gutierrez Benitez, a.k.a Fray Tormenta, actually did that in real life!

Born in 1945, Benitez is a Catholic priest who runs a home for orphans. As he struggled to support the kids, he decided on a rather radical means of raising money – becoming a wrestler. He designed his own red-and-yellow lucha libre mask (yellow for liveliness he must display in the ring, and red for the blood he must spill on behalf of the orphanage), and adopted the name ‘Fray Tormenta’.

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